RECAP | Grizzlies Close Out Regular Season with Dominant Showing Against Bluffton

Photo courtesy of Angie Palmer
Photo courtesy of Angie Palmer

FRANKLIN, Ind. – Playing in their final game of the season, the Franklin College women's basketball team closed out the season in impressive fashion, routing Bluffton University 83-56 on Saturday (Feb. 16) afternoon inside the Spurlock Center.

The Grizzlies (8-17, 6-12 HCAC) held Bluffton (9-16, 7-11 HCAC) to just 36.2 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers to pull away for the win. Franklin dominated the second half of play, holding Bluffton to just 10 second half field goals while out-scoring their guests 46-36 over the final 20 minutes of play.

Bayleigh Walker finished with a team-high 15 with Destinee Cross adding 14 points and Ashlin Aycock pouring in 10. The Grizzlies shot better than 50 percent in the second half and turned it over a season-low 10 times to win for the second time in their final three games.

Both offenses got off to a great start with each team shooting 50 percent or better in the opening 10 minutes. The first quarter featured five ties and four lead changes before four straight Franklin points to close out the quarter spotted the Grizzlies a 23-20 lead after one.

Six straight Franklin points early in the second quarter stretched the lead out to it's largest of the half at 31-23 with six minutes showing on the clock. Franklin locked down the Beavers in the second quarter, holding their guests to just 3-for-11 from the floor in the period to take a 37-30 lead into the locker room.

Franklin wasted no time putting the game out of reach in the third, opening the quarter with an 11-2 run that stretched the lead to double figures for the first time. The Grizzlies racked up 22 points to 14 allowed in the third quarter and took a 59-44 lead into the final 10 minutes. The lead would continue to balloon in the final quarter, with the final scored making up the Grizzlies' largest lead of the night.

The Grizzlies connected on 46.9 percent (30-for-64) of their field goals and 22-of-30 free throw attempts. Franklin dominated the game in the paint, pouring in 52 points from in tight to just 22 for the Beavers. Franklin's bench contributed for 27 points and the team finished with a 44-32 edge in the rebounding battle.

Before the game, the Grizzlies saluted their lone senior in Mallory Cast. Making her 65th and final appearance in a Franklin uniform, the Lebanon, Ind.-native finished with nine points, three rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals before departing the game late to a standing ovation from the home crowd.